Urgent: week of September 17

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Messages which absolutely need to be seen today due to time constraints or breaking news. Remember to check the"new answers" link for the most active topics. This topic will run for a week, and then we will start a new dated "urgent" file.

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2000


Curry, thanks for the rundown of the meeting.

Today I spoke to Jack Bierhorst from West Shokan who is an academic on the local Native population and has lectured to students at the school on Native history. He supports us but does not feel comfortable getting actively involved. He indicated he might be interested in playing a role behind the scenes in order to provide accurate educational materials and references. He also spoke of a Native descended from the local Lenapes who gives lectures on Native history and may be interested in setting up an academic Native studies program as this is what this man does for a living.

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2000

All right, now it's gone too far. My kids were harassed today over the mascot stuff. George was harassed on the bus to Onteora, with a kid yelling "That's the kid who's mother is suing the district." Then after school, Kofi and George ran into the same kid at field near West Hurley school and he yelled out the same thing. Then they threw a hardball at Kofi's head fast and hard, which barely missed him. The kid who threw it said a phony kind of "Sorry, I guess I'm just a bad shot." Then they said Kofi's hair looks like a spider web, and called George gay.

Any ideas about what I can do? I'll call Barbara Ruben tomorrow, but without the kid's name, which we'll try to get, there's not anything she can do. And the bus driver is probably from Clyde Russell, and they all hate me over the mascot stuff. (Another guy who works there has been cursing at George lately and called the police on him last weekend for basically nothing, and another bus driver of Russell's was among those "fans" who called Sam Mercer show last night.)

I have to work tomorrow at Daytop but I can make calls. This is the last thing I wanted to have happen. Any ideas? Help. I can take a screw in the tire easier than this.

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2000

I just finished a call with a government attorney who asked to remain nameless, however she asked that ALL incidences of racial harassment, discrimination, retaliatory treatment, etc... be reported to the district in writing, and myself (I will file with NY AG and Dept of Education). The NY AG can not investigate without a clear showing, their goal is to invoke the Hate Crimes Law, please pass this to our friends in COLOR, etc...

I understand there is a senior, new to the football team, who is being required to do extra practice because he will not use the word "Indians" He is native, has blond hair, he is also carded. We need to locate this young man ASAP if anyone knows who he is please let me know..

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2000

Update on Geo and Kofi's harassment: I wrote letter to Gayle Kavanagh and cced Barbara Ruben, Hal, and Mike Grehl (transportation head), providing facts of what happened. I met with Gayle and she was very responsive, determined to determine the name of the 10th grader who led it, find out if bus is district's or private, etc. I should find out more today. Meanwhile, George said there was no harassment yesterday.

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2000

Anybody hear a report today regarding federal gov. involvement inour issue? Someone told me that they heard on WDST this afternoon that the Clinton administration was looking into the Indian mascot situation and considering using Onteora as a case example. I tried to research the report this evening to no avail. The website really sucks. Anybody have a contact at WDST to verify or deny?? Also let's rally the troops for the Monday BOE meeting especially regarding the recent non-mascot issues by the board. I hear somelocal politics may be brewing early.

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2000

I have heard exactly what Jim asked about from two sources, first from a reporter in NYC, second from a source in Mass who heard it from a friend at BIA-I might have heard it 3 times now that I think about it as I think Lisa might have mentioned it in the interview this morning, but I am not certain

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2000

My guess is that it's the BIA chief, who is considered part of Clinton admin. he did specifically talk about Onteora, so at least it's on his horizon...and he probably hasn't even seen the images...can we get stuff to him? Charles? Images? Video...this was mentioned on Lisa Phillips's excellent WAMC report heard today.

yeah team.

Jim's right that the folks are restless about the dysfunctional board...have to be sure this builds until next election...then at leaast we can get a 4-3 board ...(maybe!) T. T.

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2000

The source of the reporting of Federal involvement on WDST is from the Times Herald Record in Middletown a few days ago.


This is the same article that we saw the other day as reported by Dennis. WDST didn't have a clue. They suggested it was from the Freeman but the Freeman's Bill Kemple said it was probably culled from the Record article.

FWIW-This is the same article in which I previously discussed the misinformation regarding the election of Joe Doan this past year. The 'official newspaper". I wonder where the Record got their info from the feds. Was this a phone call interview or released by the undersecretary of Indian Affarirs on the wire services?? I'll look into it.

-- Anonymous, September 22, 2000

My understanding is the comment about mascots by the Under Secretary was made twice once on a telephone interview, and once in Upper New York during this week.

-- Anonymous, September 22, 2000

Both with references made to Onteora??

-- Anonymous, September 22, 2000

I was told over 40 years ago a native told Onteora using a native based mascot was not a good idea. Does anyone know who this person was, and when this was said, and to whom?

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2000

New book on mascots

_Dancing at Halftime:Sports and the Controversy over American Indian Mascots_ by Carol Spindel

Do we have any funds to buy this for the Onteora school library?

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2000

WEe have $60 left...get dennis to spring for it>..good move. Then publicize that it's available and a gift from STAND...

In preparation for the move to set up a committee to provide a "permanent solution" (their words) to the mascot issue, I would propose we have a strong list of people with real credentials in native history and stereotying and its effects.

Here's a start...I know they'll shoot down any 'outsiders' and only want local people with "opinions", even though that doesn't set the record straight about stereotyping or help with authentic education......but let's get on the record with a quality group....please add those others who would be helpful...

Professor Laurence Hauptman, Professor of History at SUNY New Paltz Research and publications for 30 years on NY Native Americans

Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, Assistant Professor of Education, University of Kansas, National Indian Education Association's National Indian Educator of the Year

Oren Lyons, Professor of American Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he directs the Native American Studies Program

David P. Rider, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Psychology, Xavier University of Louisiana and authority on stereotyping and their effects

Ellen Staurowski, Associate Professor, Dept. of Sport Science, Ithaca College authority on stereotyping and sport team mascots

Arlene Fay (not sure of her exact name, but will have it) Chair of the Ulster County Human Relations Committee.

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2000

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